Revenge is Sweet
Also by sky_lady
"Bring more food, NOW!" His Highness King Skarl ordered as he observed his servants completing their tasks in a rush. The banquet room was entirely crowded with nobles and Meridell knights, who were celebrating the Kingdom's life and prosperity; they had been in peace with Darigan Citadel for a long time.
Suddenly, the music started playing. All the guests stopped eating their food and turned their attention to the mysterious dancer who entered the room dancing. She was beautiful and she was dancing in a way that was never seen before in the whole Neopia...
"No! NO!!" King Skarl screamed as he awoke, a little shocked. "Not that court dancer AGAIN!" he said. The King took a while to realize that he was actually lying in his large bed. "Calm down, Skarl, it was just a nightmare." he whispered, trying to convince himself – he was still a little terrified. Actually, the court dancer who almost made Meridell lose the war to the Lord Kass' army was missing, and Skarl was not really interested about knowing where she was; since she was not into his castle, it was perfect.
As usual, in every morning, the King arose from bed, almost falling due to his excessive weight, and the first thing he did was to look at himself into the mirror. That was when he realized that something was a little... different. "What? Did I get Neezles?" he thought. The King, confused, rubbed his eyes (maybe he was not really awake?) and took another look at the mirror, but the image was still the same. It was pretty clear: his Skeith's skin, which used to be blue like the deep sea, had changed into a vivid red with green spots.
"Are you KIDDING me?! WHO PAINTED ME STRAWBERRY??!!" King Skarl yelled.
His scream of horror silenced the rushed steps of a little yellow Kacheek who had been peeking the King through the door's breach.
"ENOUGH ALREADY!" King Skarl claimed, impatiently. It took some time for all the neopets' laughs to stop. They were laughing about the way the King looked in that morning and it took a while for them to shut up and listen to the King; after all, he was a King, he should be respected! "Nobody gets out of the castle until I find out who was the responsible for this act!" he yelled once again.
"This is not fair! I already finished my job here today and I have my family waiting for me at home. I have to go now or they will get worried about me!" said a blue Wocky, who was in charge of all the cleaning tasks. Everybody that was present agreed making a sign of approval with their heads.
However, a green Scorchio, who used to keep the gates of the castle, was smarter than this Wocky and said: "The faster we solve the problem, the faster we get out of here. Did someone see something out of usual today? Well, I didn't."
Someone else said: "I did. King Skarl's appearance!" Almost all the present neopets laughed out loud; on the other hand, the King didn't find that comment funny at all.
"Well, seriously, I did... When I was at the kitchen making soup, I realized that some carrots disappeared. They were just simply gone! That was when I saw a little yellow Kacheek eating them happily under the table. The poor neopet seemed to be so hungry... I caught the little thief and I was going to denounce him to the guard, but he implored me to not do so, because he was actually a poor Neopian and he was starving. He promised me he would never steal again. I got emotive, I must confess, and I was still thinking if I should or should not denounce him, that when I looked back, he was not there anymore..." said an old red Acara, the King's chef.
"That's weird..." the guard said. "I don't remember that neopet entering the castle. I didn't see him. Perhaps he was too sneaky, or..." the green Scorchio's face became red, in shame "...maybe I was in the bathroom at the time he entered in the castle."
"Oh my Coltzan! Do you think that, that...? Oh no!" the cook started saying while looking at the King, terrified.
"Yes, I believe it was THAT creature that was playing with me. And about you, Miss, you should be punished! But, since I'm a generous King I will forgive you if you can bring me that Kacheek in front of me... TODAY. Go find him! I need to have a REALLY serious conversation with him!" the King ordered, annoyed with his servants' incompetence. "And you, guard, from now on, you are not able to go that many times to the bathroom. Make sure it won't happen again!" the King screamed at the poor guard.
When everybody left, the King was still seated in his armchair and decided to took a nap. He suddenly awoke as he felt hands grabbing his tail – it was some small and yellow hands. "Hey! YOU? What are you doing?!" How did that creature had courage to appear there? The King admired him for his bravery. He would rather dying than admitting it, though.
"I was just thinking if your tail would be... edible," the little Kacheek said. "Listen, I don't want the chef to be punished because of me. I used a paint brush on you while you were sleeping; someone paid me to do that. That's not my fault, I simply can't back down from a dare... Don't get mad at me!" the Kacheek begged.
"And who ordered you to do that?" the King asked, impatiently.
"You don't know, but I have a really bad memory. Maybe if I see a few neopoints, then I can remember who he was..." the smart neopet said, obviously lying through his teeth.
"So, are you telling me that I have to PAY you to get that information? I am YOUR King!" King Hagan yelled at the little Kacheek. "Fine, fine! Five thousand neopoints is enough for you?" he asked; he would pay whatever was needed to get that information.
"The double or nothing." The Kacheek was sure the King wouldn't refuse such a good offer.
"TEN THOUSAND AND NOT EVEN ONE MORE NEOPOINT, KACHEEK!" the King yelled, giving him a small bag with the neopoints.
"Okay... Well, I still don't remember much about it, but he was a green Skeith that I met in Brightvale and his name begins with an H. If you want to know more things about him, you'll have to..." The Kacheek didn't complete his sentence, he was surely thinking about more neopoints to fill his pocket.
"Oh, that won't be necessary." The King smiled, triumphant. He knew just one neopet with those characteristics. "But I can reward you if you find me a good plan for my revenge. Do you have any ideas?" the King asked.
"Of course! One thousand neopoints, please..." the Kacheek replied, smiling.
"You may enter!" King Hagan said, calling the first neopet to the throne room. He used to enjoy speaking with his people, hear their words and, especially, learn with them. And the wise and old King knew very well how to reward those neopets who could impress him with their wisdom.
"Hello, little Shoyru, be welcome to my castle! What do you have to tell me?" King Hagan asked.
"Good morning, my illustrious King." The blue Shoyru bowed. "Knowledge is a gift that can never be returned," the Shoyru suddenly said, trying to impress his King.
"Ahh, brilliant! It's true! And you know what? It was EXACTLY what I wanted to hear today. For that reason, you'll get a very special prize!" The King gave the Shoyru a little bag with neopoints. "Congratulations! I am confident that you will use it wisely. Next neopet, please!" King Hagan ordered.
This time, a green Aisha entered the throne room. "Hello, my wise King. What I have to say is something I learned with you - knowledge is a gift that can never be returned!" the Aisha said.
"Oh, that's really weird!" the King said, scratching his ear. "The neopet who was here before you said exactly the same thing... Well, I believe it was just a coincidence. That neopet was rewarded a special prize because I really loved his, and now your, words; it is not fair if I don't reward you the same way. So, congratulations: you're a little bit richer, now. Next!" King Hagan ordered once again.
Interestingly, the following neopet said the same phrase as the Shoyru and the Aisha. The next neopet did the same thing. And the neopet after that said the same as well... All the neopets that came to talk to the King that day said the exact same phrase, with no exception – and the King, to be fair, gave them all a special prize. He didn't believe it was a coincidence, though. Obviously his game had been sabotaged!
"Oh no! I don't have any neopoint left to give! Until I find a solution I have to close the castle's gates; that's a shame, I can't keep welcoming neopets because I don't have any way to reward them," the King said to himself, feeling frustrated. "I'd love to know who sabotaged my game and WHY! What would someone win doing so? I don't understand!" he whispered.
Someone knocked at the door. "Good afternoon, Your Majesty!" a yellow Ixi said.
"Good afternoon. I'm really sorry, but the game is already over for today. I don't have..." The King was going to say he had no more neopoints left, but he didn't. He thought for a while and realized that was better that all the other neopets didn't know anything about it. He would find a solution as fast as possible, at least it was what he was expecting.
"Oh, I'm not here to play your game, Your Majesty... I am the postman and I have a pack for you. But I think I'll need some help to take everything into the castle," the postman said. Piled, in front of the door, there were several hundred boxes.
"Don't worry, someone will help you. Who sent all of that?" King Hagan asked.
"It's anonymous." The Ixi shrugged his shoulders. "But I also have a neomail for you, maybe it reveals who is the sender... Someone very generous, I'm sure!"
The King opened the neomail and started reading it:
"Hi, dear brother! I hope you enjoyed my gift. The Kacheek who you paid to do the dirty work was the one that had the idea – a really nice idea, don't you think? But let me tell you more things... The neopets who were with you all day were my servants and some of them were servant's family and friends - I hope they had left you without one single neopoint. All the money was used to buy a new blue paint brush so I can have my beautiful color back, and also the gifts I'm offering you now. As you can see, your plan to bother me didn't work, and I'm the one who is laughing in the end; and since you're so wise I suppose that you know: he who laughs last laughs best... yes, ME! By the way, revenge is SO sweet! I am sure you can easily confirm that. With love, Skarl."
"Kacheek? Dirty work? Paint brush? Bother him? Revenge? What is he talking about?" King Hagan asked himself. He was very confused; he had no idea what was the meaning of that message. But, at least, he had already realized who was the responsible for the sabotage of his game. They didn't even look like brothers. "Oh, I got it. He drank too much." King Hagan thought.
"Majesty?" A red Usul, the servant, brought the King's attention. "Where do you want me to put the boxes with the jellies? Honestly? I don't know if there is enough space for them all in this castle!..."
"Jellies? Which jellies?" King Hagan asked. He looked to the pile of boxes that the postman brought and then he realized it was the Skarl's gift, and he finally understood why his brother said that revenge was sweet. Sweet like... jelly. A LOT of strawberry jellies, actually. "No, I can't believe he did that! I want my money back! Skarl, you will pay EVERYTHING!" King Hagan yelled. He was annoyed especially because he didn't know why his brother wanted revenge. He did absolutely nothing to harm him.
Oh, but the wise King wouldn't sit on his hands, no, he wouldn't stay stopped. "So, the revenge is sweet, doesn't it, dear Skarl? You have no idea what you are in for..." He didn't know yet how he was going to revenge himself, but that was just a matter of time.
In the storage room of the Brightvale's castle, the little Kacheek was celebrating his victory. Everything was just a very well elaborated plan to wile King Skarl – actually, King Hagan was never involved. The yellow neopet made the Grumpy King believe that it was his brother who played a trick on him; but not: it was himself, the poor Kacheek, who found the Strawberry Fields Forever Paint Brush on the floor and decided to make something with it, something... funny.
The meaning of his plan? Earning some neopoints and... lots of desserts; he was going to eat all those jellies, one by one, and no one would ever suspect. And so soon he wouldn't be starving again. It felt like heaven!
The small and poor neopets were always underestimated, but that doesn't mean they were less smart than the others. The Kacheek was the prove that intelligence and astuteness could come from anyone and from anywhere. He, a little and poor Neopian, was the smartest and wisest one.
"Well... at least, smarter and wiser than those two fat Kings..." he thought, eating his second strawberry jelly. "Who knew?"
Author's Note: I hope you enjoyed this story! It's dedicated to my friend and collaborator, sky_lady, who likes Skeiths very much. Big is beautiful, doesn't it, Ana? Thanks for helping! :)